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China shocked at killing of 16 Afghan civilians by U.S. soldier: FM spokesman

(Xinhua)

08:51, March 14, 2012

BEIJING, March 13 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said here on Tuesday that China was shocked at the killing of 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children and three women, by a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan's southern province of Kandahar.

"We extend our condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims," spokesman Liu Weimin told a regular news briefing in Beijing.

He said China, as a friendly neighbor of Afghanistan, sincerely hopes the country can resume peace and stability at an early date.

Another five people were injured in the incident, which occurred early Sunday morning in Zangabad village of Panjwayi district in the province some 450 km south of the capital city of Kabul.

The incident happened in the wake of violent nationwide protests against U.S. troops in Afghanistan, which erupted after some copies of the Koran were found burnt at a U.S. base, raising concerns over a new wave of demonstrations in the making.

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